Festival and event organisers will need to adapt to it. Those things that were only ever a second thought, if at all, are going to play a big part in people's decisions on whether they attend events. Questions to be answered include how hygienic is it? What is my personal space? Will I be forced into closed spaces? What measures will be taken to ensure safe hygiene practices by other event patrons? What security will be in place to ensure people abide by the rules? There's now a whole new reality that festival and event organisers are going to have to think about to break down the barriers to attending.
To be on the front foot, event organisers should promote the safety of their event space. Organisers need to make fans feel secure enough to come back to live events. It's all about demonstrating a social awareness where the wellbeing of participants, spectators, volunteers and sponsors is number one.
The onus going forward will also be on sponsors to reconsider how they leverage sponsored events. While it's still common practice to fixate on signage and logo placement, experiential marketing was soon becoming the norm. Brands that were doing it well were creating fan fests where the activations were as thrilling for festival goers as the actual event. While this was a winner for brand engagement, a new socially responsible dimension has come to the forefront.
Sponsorship going forward will need to be more about adopting the triple bottom line approach. Concern for profit needs to be balanced with concern for our social and environmental wellbeing. I think it's fair to say that people are now feeling greater anxiety about their general wellbeing and that of their own community. There'll be an expectation on event organisers to respond to this.